Published On: Fri, Jun 10th, 2016

Innovative tool to modify brain activity and memory



Scientists have made an innovative instrument to adapt brain activity and memory in targeted ways, devoid of the assistance of any drugs or chemicals.

The novel instrument is a protein that can be prearranged in animal genomes to efficiently switch off their inhibitory synapses and links amid neurons which elevate their electrical activity.

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The GFE3 protein can assist researchers to plan the brain’s links and excellently know how inhibitory synapses modulate brain work, told Don Arnold, who is the lead author and Professor at the University of Southern California.

It as well can allow them to manage neural activity and direct to progressions in research for diseases or states ranging from schizophrenia to cocaine addiction, Arnold added.

Arnold continued that “GFE3 harnesses a little-known and remarkable property of proteins within the brain,”

The protein gets the benefit of an essential procedure with the brain’s cycle of degrading and replacing proteins.

Many brain proteins end just a couple of days prior to they are vigorously ruined and changed by novel proteins. GFE3 aims proteins that grasp inhibitory synapses jointly to this degradation system and as a consequence, the synapses fall separately.

Arnold elaborated that “Rather than a cell deciding when a protein needs to be degraded, we sort of hijack the process,”

To conduct the research study, which is cited in the journal Nature Methods, the team of scientists studied the protein’s influence in both mice and zebrafish.

Though, the researchers discovered that GFE3 protein triggered the neurons on the two sides of the spine to work in the opponent, generating uncoordinated movements.

Furthermore, drugs could be employed to slow down inhibitory synapses in the brain, for example, benzodiazapines, which deal with anxiety, insomnia or seizures.

Arnold added that “Unfortunately, cells that have very different, even opposite functions tend to be right next to each other in the brain,”

Arnold further added that “Thus, pharmacological experiments are especially difficult to interpret. By encoding GFE3 within the genome, we can target and modulate the inhibitory synapses of specific cells without affecting other cells that have different functions,”


About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.